|Sally Simpson: Hi.
I discovered that Gossip and Lee had written a book 'The Complete Chess Player' published 1907.
Gossip has a cloud hanging over him as a writer (claims that he invented games he won. He denied this.) So I was thinking Lee may have showed him his game v Pillsbury, mentioned the blindfold game and Gossip mixed them up.
The Edinburgh Club of course had a copy but I found nothing.
('cept quite a few Gossip games mixed up amongst the brilliancies. Bit of a strange lad Gossip, cetainly a chess character.)
The club has every British Chess Magazine so I searched in them.
I may have found the seed that planted the error.
BCM 1902 page 343 has the blindfold Pillsbury - Newman game where Qf3 was not played.
He played 20 'good players' blindfold (Newman was the current club champion) W.14 D.5 L.1 it took 7 hours and 35 minutes.
BCM 1906 page 440 and a Mr.F.W. Marwick is discussing opening traps and gives the Lee game (no names).
click for larger view
Lee in the OTB game played 10...Bxc6.
Newman (in the blindfold game) played 10...Rb8.
Mr. Marwick reaches here:
click for larger view
Which is the actual position from the Lee game and says White now wins a pawn to see how look at page 343 of the 1902 BCM.
So here we have a writer pointing his readers from the Lee game to the Newman game thinking it is the same game. A later writer may recognise the Lee game and reverse them by taking the moves from the Newman game and thinking it was Lee's game.
I looked through later editions of the BCM but could find nobody correcting him.
(BTW the BCM 1906 page 290 mentions that Dr Tarrasch treated Pillsbury for his illness adding 'so we believe'.)
The sequence of moves is classed as an opening trap.
I knew I had seen it before. The Newman game is trap no.111 in
Znosko-Borovsky's 'Traps on the Chessboard.' published in 1938. The cute win is given in the notes but again no names.
'Traps on the Chessboard.' is an updated version of 'Pitfalls on the Chessboard' by Grieg published 1910. I have the 1920 edition and the Pillsbury - Newman game with Qf3 is in the notes is on page 47 again no names.
BCM 1955 has a review for the 'Art of Checkmate' which is where the names of Lee and Newman have been swapped over and the cute finished added.
The reviewer (B.H.) likes the book but finds one error.
The call Blackburne 'James Harry Blackburne. His name was 'Joseph Henry Blackburne'
(where did they get 'James Harry' from? find that and you may find Pillsbury - Lee game that never happened.)
The reviewer adds after spotting the mistake something very apt.
"Errors once recorded in Chess Literature have an unhappy knack of multiplying."
That is the 4th error I know about in this book. See:
Where they mix up 'Havana' with 'Hanover'.
They also give Blackburn's dates of birth and death wrong.
1842-1926 according to them. 1841 – 1924 according to everyone else.
So looking for who started this off we might have to look no further than the authors of 'The Art of Checkmate' themselves.
I'm going to give 'The Art of Checkmate' a good going over, if I find two more errors then that's it I'm blaming them for messing about.
James Harry Blackburne is a needless blunder. They call a Checkmate after him and yet fail to get his name DOB and DOD correct.
Anyone else who has a copy feel free to join in.
Edinburgh's first team were clinching the league title 6-0 in a match at the club. When the games were finished I stopped looking and have just come back from the pub helping them celebrate. A good night.